The Prado Museum "retouches" its masterpieces to raise awareness about climate change

The Madrid art gallery is associated with the well-known international NGO WWF to visually explain the misfortunes that the increase in temperature would bring.

It seems silly, because in truth a degree and a half (that is, 1.5º) is a low figure, but in terms of global temperature, #LoCambiaTodo. And I am not putting it as a hashtag because it can, but also because it has been the hashtag used by the Prado Museum and the international NGO WWF (the one with a very cute logo with a panda bear) to try to raise awareness about the climate change. And for any art lover – or who prides himself on enjoying a good exhibition – it should work.

It has been during the last Climate Summit in Madrid that so much has been talked about but that measures, as such, rather few. And that the paintings they have chosen to carry out the idea are by four masters: Velázquez, Goya, Sorolla and Patinir. Let's go, yes, to reassure the pipol, because obviously the original paintings are intact and everything has been carried out digitally, although the truth is that a sticker or a 3D projection would have been incredible, but that costs a lot of money and it does not climate change is so important to spend more money, we suspect.

Javier Solana, the president of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum, assured that it was "an excellent way of transmitting to everyone, and especially to the young generations, what is really at stake in this fight against climate change." “We want to take the opportunity to send a message of action to the whole world through the universal language that is art”, pointed out Juan Carlos del Olmo, WWF Spain General Secretary.

And for this they contacted the CHINA advertising agency, which carried out the creative development under the supervision of museum specialists. But the dissemination work has gone further, continuing on social networks, since those 1.5º would be the turning point that scientists and experts have set as the point of no return: if that temperature rises, the consequences are unpredictable.

Only intuited, as in the case of 'Philip IV on horseback', is Diego Velázquez's portrait of the monarch and who appears in this campaign, like Earth if the tables are not turned, with water around his neck. But beyond more or less inspired and ingenious puns, the truth is that with that one and a half degrees more "the sea level could rise up to a meter in height, forcing millions of people to move because their towns would disappear and cities”, they explained from the NGO.

The sea level could rise up to a meter in height, forcing millions of people to move because their towns and cities would disappear.


Something similar to the proposal to raise awareness through Francisco de Goya. The Aragonese genius saw how the two young protagonists of his costumbrista painting 'El parasol' changed their happy and loving faces for faces full of sadness and despair since they had become "climate refugees", since "there would be extreme weather phenomena and more than 1,000 million people” would have to be displaced.

As an awareness campaign it is very good because they already have me convinced, but even so there are still a couple of them missing, which, coincidentally, are related. The first is surely the easiest to think of because it's obvious, but it's no less serious. The NGO and the Prado agree that, if the temperature increased by only one and a half degrees (it is important to remember), "droughts would increase, threatening rivers and crops in the world", running out of water 'El Paso de la Laguna Estigia ' by Joachim Patinir.

And, in the latter case, 'Los niños en la playa', by Joaquín Sorolla, would have fun surrounded by dead fish or fish kicking, given that at +1.5º "the acidity of the sea would rise, affecting large populations of fish and even 90% of coral reefs could disappear”. That said, it CHANGES EVERYTHING. No hashtag, yes, but with capital letters.

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